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Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, January 6, 2005

Free Whitepaper: High Availability and Disaster Recovery for Exchange!

Saving Time and Money with Network Faxing


1. Commentary

- Mounting and Dismounting Databases with CDOEXM

2. Resources

- Featured Thread: Public Folders and External Email
- Outlook Tip: Customizing the Outlook 2003 Form

3. New and Improved

- Automate Exchange Backup and Restoration


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==== 1. Commentary: Mounting and Dismounting Databases with CDOEXM ====

by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, [email protected]

I spend a fair amount of time reading the Microsoft public support Exchange newsgroups, where many of the same questions are asked over and over. This year I'd like to occasionally answer some of the more obscure questions in this column. This week, I decided to start with a real winner: How do you programmatically mount and dismount Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server databases? This task is fairly simple, but unless you spend a lot of time spelunking in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Management (CDOEXM) documentation, you might not be aware of it. Here's a short script, in pieces, that mounts a mailbox database. The first piece of code defines the server (batman) and mailbox database ("Mailbox Store (BATMAN)"). It also creates two CDOEXM objects: The ExchangeServer object is used later, and the MailboxStoreDB object is used to mount and dismount the database.

strServerName = "batman"
strMDBName = "Mailbox Store (BATMAN)"
Set theServer = CreateObject("CDOEXM.ExchangeServer")
Set theMDB = CreateObject("CDOEXM.MailboxStoreDB")

The next piece of code connects to the server and finds the first storage group (SG). The StorageGroups property of the ExchangeServer object lists all the SGs on that server. VBScript doesn't have a good way to find the first item in a collection, which is why the code starts a "for each" loop, then immediately exits.

theServer.DataSource.Open strServerName
For Each sg In theServer.StorageGroups
theFirstSG = sg
Exit for Next

After you have the name of the first SG, mounting the store is a simple matter of constructing a URL to the database from a combination of the SG name and the database name, then using that URL to open the message database (MDB) object. After the object is open, you can mount or dismount it using the Mount and Dismount CDOEXM methods.

strURL = "LDAP://" & theServer.DirectoryServer & "/cn=" & strMDBName & "," & theFirstSG
theMDB.DataSource.Open strURL

This script can be improved. It doesn't perform any error checking (e.g., it'll fail if you try to mount an already-mounted database), and it doesn't work with public folder databases (you'll need to use the CDOEXM PublicStoreDB object instead). It's not terribly useful for mounting or dismounting one database at a time, so a useful enhancement would be to automatically mount or dismount multiple stores at once. These changes are all simple to make, and after you understand the mechanism you can apply it to a lot of other database-related tasks (including creating and deleting databases and moving databases and log files).
On an unrelated note, I would be remiss not to mention the great tragedy that struck the coastal countries of southern Asia last month. I encourage you to consider donating to reputable relief agencies to assist in the rebuilding efforts. I was delighted to find out that Habitat for Humanity ( ) is collecting donations specifically to assist with building houses for those left homeless by the tsunami.


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==== Announcements ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

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==== 2. Resources ====

Featured Thread: Public Folders and External Email

Our forum readers are having a conversation regarding public folders that can't receive external email. To join the discussion, visit

Outlook Tip: Customizing the Outlook 2003 Form

by Sue Mosher, [email protected]
Q: I want to customize the contact form in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 but design mode always displays the Outlook 2002 contact form. How can I customize the Outlook 2003 form, the one with the new picture control on it? Find the answer (and links to more great tips) at

==== Events Central ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

True High-Availability for Microsoft Exchange Web Seminar--February 3

Discover solutions that minimize the likelihood of downtime in your Exchange implementation and help to ensure continuous Exchange application availability. In this free Web seminar, learn how you can ensure high-availability through the use of tools that analyze and proactively monitor the health of your entire Exchange environment. Register now!

==== 3. New and Improved ====

by Angie Brew, [email protected]

Automate Exchange Backup and Restoration

Network Appliance released SnapManager 3.1 for Microsoft Exchange, a data-management solution for hosting and automating backup and restoration of Exchange Server-based storage groups (SGs). SnapManager lets you can choose the point in time you want to recover to, up to the minute. Depending on the nature of your restore requirement, you can also choose from different restore options: full Exchange Server content recovery, individual Exchange SG recovery, individual Exchange database recovery, and virtual disk recovery. The product lets you add storage without taking the Exchange server offline and features task-automation wizards. SnapManager supports Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server. For pricing, contact Network Appliance at 408-822-6000.

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